Category Archives: Expressive Arts

Recycled Art, Modelling and Up-cycling

We are always in need of resources for our junk modelling area and would be grateful for any donations of:

  • small boxes and tubs (plastic or cardboard)
  • cardboard kitchen rolls
  • plastic lids, bottle tops, margarine lids, etc
  • ribbons, string, wool, buttons, sequins, material scraps
  • anything else of an interesting shape or feel from your recycling box

Many thanks for your donations.

Junk modelling or recycled art is being creative with materials that would otherwise be discarded. Junk modelling construction gives children the freedom to build what they want with the addition of resources like tape and glue. 

Modelling with recycled resources encourages higher order thinking. Children can work on their own or co-operate with others, learning to explore and share ideas. When they create something new it can build self confidence and boost self-esteem. Junk modelling is all about the learning process rather than the end product.

Here are some examples of what we have made so far this term:

Shoebox masks
Fire Engine
A chair
Laptop computer
Apple box keyboard

Up-cycling! 

Donated cable drums have also been up-cycled to make tables for our indoor role play areas and outdoor areas. We measured offcuts of cloth, cut them to size and stapled them to the cable drum surface.

Playdough and loose parts play

The orchard bubble have been busy! 

The orchard bubble has shown a great interest in making playdough over the last few weeks. The children have taken responsibility for their own learning by coming up with different ideas of how they want to create their playdough from colours and texture.  “I want blue.”

       

 

 

“I want pink.”

 

 

 

The children had shown an interest in loose parts and wanted to include this in their playdough experience. By incorporating loose parts with playdough the children are developing their fine motor skills. They use a variety of movements such as pressing, rolling and stretching. This will help to strengthen the muscles in their hand which in turn will help them with their writing skills.

 

“I want to use leaves.”       

 

 “Oooohhh feathers.”

 

 

The children showed ownership over their creations and seemed to enjoy the fact that they could start again when one model was finished. They did show interest in taking them home so our next steps will be trying to create models with loose parts and clay. 
 

 

“Can we take them home?”

Musicality benefits

From a very young age children benefit in all areas of their development when taking part in musicality sessions.

Literacy

  1. Helps children understand the meaning and the sound of words.
  2. Helps develop their listening skills (loud, quiet)
  3. Rhyming
  4. Syllables (clapping out)
  5. Helps them predict
  6. Imagination
  7. Conversation
  8. Follow instruction

 

Maths

  1. Counting beats
  2. Number song
  3. Recognition of numbers
  4. Recognition of Shapes And their names
  5. Rhythm pattern

  

Gross and fine motor motor skills

  1. Jumping, hopping, skipping and dancing.
  2. Helps them develop and control their body movements.
  3. Better control at manipulating objects (instruments)
  4. Helps strengthen their muscles.
  5. Moving the instruments in all different directions(up downside to side, front back)

Social and emotional skills

  1. Interaction with other children.
  2. Introduction to different kinds of music and cultural differences awareness.
  3. Increasing confidence in performing
  4. Sharing resources.

  

 

 

Ballet

In Ballet the children are learning how to control their bodies through balance, good posture, listening skills, following instructions and rhythm, also finding their own space, cooperating with others and taking part in a performance.

We started of with the basic movements of dance and Ballet such as Feet Positions ——- first position (happy feet ) , parallel ——- (feet together ) and Second (feet apart).

  

Arm Positions ——- Bras Bas (first position of the arms ) Gateway (out in front ) Second(arms out wide ).

Moves within Ballet such as —- point lift, point close, springs in first, plies “which we called make a diamond,”

   

And at the end of every performance we learned who to do a bow and a courtesy.

We put it altogether and made a dance and chose music.

        

Ballet is an art form created by the movement of the human body. It is theatrical – performed on a stage to an audience utilising costumes, scenic design and lighting. It can tell a story or express a thought, concept or emotion. Ballet dance can be magical and exciting.

 

 

 

 

Wonderful Weaving!

We’ve been having lots of fun being creative and exploring how to use different materials to learn how to weave.  The children enjoyed choosing from a variety of colours and textures of ribbon, paper, card and wool.  Weaving is a fantastic activity for young children to try and offers many benefits such as developing fine motor skills and hand eye coordination, as well as developing concentration and providing a physical experience of the spatial concepts of over and under. It is also an ideal experience to help strengthen the muscles in both hands as the dominant and non-dominant hands are used at the same time.  Here are some of the different types of weaving that we tried:

Fence Weaving

 

“I like all the different colours of the ribbon.”

 

 

 

 

Table Top Weaving

 

“You need to go over and under and over and under all the way to the end.”

 

 

“I’m lifting the wool up so the ribbon can go under”

 

 

 

Paper Weaving

     

“This is quite tricky.”

Large Needle Weaving

“I need to push this through and catch it at the other side.”

Individual Loom Weaving

 

“I like the gold ribbon best.  It’s so shiny.”

Small Needle Weaving

 

“I’m getting good at this now.  I’m just going to pull the needle.”    

Terrific Triangles

Working with Starcatchers, we developed a creative project on triangles. Children and parents brought lots of lovely triangles from home (thank you). 

Child: “The triangles are all different sizes.  Oh, Look at them, they are all my favourite. I made some at home, here they are.”

Then  …….

…we made more at Glenwood using lots of different materials to decorate.

     

…we cut slots into our triangles. We tried scissors and then saws.

…we found we could make 3D shapes by connecting them together and we could make lots of different shapes. 

     

…we took some outside and made a traffic jam with lots of cars.

…we were thinking about our community and neighbours and being ‘intergenerational’. So we made some into bunting and delivered it to our friends with a card. We wrote:

“We are thinking of you and hope our triangles make you happy”.

Parent: “I really liked the idea of the triangles and having something to work with my child at home and bring in. It made me feel more connected to the nursery at this time when we can’t come in”. 

Sensory Play

The children have been making potions, adding, mixing and pouring a variety of liquids and solids during their sensory play. During their sensory play the children are developing a range of skills and processes such as problem-solving, enquiry, experimentation, researching and investigating.


“The ice is cold. It’s melting when I pour the water on it.”

“I can smell chocolate and coffee.”

“I am squeezing it. It’s frozen. The heart is melting.”

“I’m pouring it. Look! It has bubbles.”

Did you know ?
Sensory play activities naturally encourages children to explore and investigate through their senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing.
Hands on sensory activities can be set up at home using a variety of sensory materials found around the home or garden.

A few ideas to try at home-
Go on a walk and encourage children to explore textures in nature
Close your eyes and listen for sounds in the home or outdoors
Cooking activities or tasting new foods
Messy play using materials such as mud, water, sand or paint.

Some of the benefits of Sensory Play-
Stimulates the senses
Develops muscles in hands and arms
Develops creativity
Awareness of shape, space and measure
Language development
Mark making
Experimenting and sharing ideas
Developing relationships
Can be a calming experience

Loose Parts

Did you know, Loose Parts have no specific function or goal?

They can be moved, arranged, designed, taken apart and more!

Using loose parts the children explored patterns, building, and teamwork. By using the blocks, small cuts of wood, guttering and some cardboard boxes, they were able to build a house with a chimney and talk to each other about the placement of the resources!

There are a variety of resources lying around within your home that can be utilised as loose parts such as:

  • Pots and pans
  • Spoons, sieves and mashers
  • Tin foil
  • Sheets
  • Sticks, leaves
  • Plastic bottles, bottle tops

Check out the poster for more ideas!

When children interact with loose parts, they enter a world of “what if” that promotes the type of thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning. Loose parts enhance children’s ability to think imaginatively and see solutions… the use of loose parts is open ended and limitless!

Happy Diwali

We have been exploring the festival of Diwali.

Diwali is the five-day Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world.

The children have been busy creating ‘Rangoli’ pictures, making lanterns and reading books about the festival and why it is celebrated!

“These Patterns are nice, I’m going to make one” CW

“I can copy this one I think. Actually no,  I will do it myself” LW

“Pattern” FM

“My pattern has loads of colours just like the book”. AK

“We are making rangoli pictures and cutting them out” AB

“I like the one in the book with the glitter, that’s what I want to make” LM

 

Volcano Fun!

Over the past few weeks, the children have been investigating dinosaurs and where they lived.

After using different reference books the children decided that the dinosaurs must have lived with a volcano.

We used the internet to investigate what makes volcanos erupt.

We decided to make our own volcano using a plastic bottle and paper mache. We used bicarbonate of soda, washing up liquid and vinegar to make lava.

“Can you make dinosaur land?” Sorley

“Look at the lava, it looks hot and dangerous.” Fraser

“The dinosaurs lived along time ago, they are now extinct.” Zachary

“Will it explode?” Scott “No it will erupt, because the lava gets very hot, you know.” Maria

    

Remote Learning- Sunflowers and other plants

Mrs Brown writes-
I have been keeping a close watch on my sunflowers since I planted my seeds and I am delighted with how much they are growing. I had to replant them into bigger plant pots and I have now planted them in a sunny part of my garden near a wall for protection from the wind. Every few weeks I measure their height. In the beginning I  used a ruler to measure their height but now they have grown a bit taller I need to use a measuring tape. I  record their height on a growth chart.
Perhaps you have been measuring the height of your sunflowers. Are they taller than Mrs Brown’s? We would love to see how tall they have grown.
While in my garden I  got a bit annoyed because I spotted some weeds growing. Then I remembered weeds are just wild flowers growing in the wrong place and I recalled the fun I had as a child with wild flowers …..

Buttercups As a child I loved picking buttercups and holding them under the chin of friends and families. If you could see yellow under their chin it meant they liked butter. Why not try it to see if your family like butter.

Daisies Everyone loves making daisy chains. Not only are they very pretty, making daisy chains is great for hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.

Dandelions Although dandelions make me a bit cross when they grow on my lawn, they really are fascinating. You can see their life cycle over a short period of time as they change from yellow flowers to dandelion clocks with their fairy-like seeds. As a child  I liked to pick the yellow flowers and flick their heads off, saying, “Mary, Queen of Scots, got her head chopped off!” (although we all know what they say about picking dandelions…) I also recall counting “one o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock…..“ as I blew the seeds into the air and watched them fly away in the wind, ready to find a new place to grow.

I love this transient art idea ‘borrowed’ from Carlibar nursery, for making a dande lion picture. Why not try making a picture with items you find in your garden.

Designing our new nursery

We are very excited about the building work going on for our new nursery. We have been looking at the plans and created our own 3D model of our new centre.

I made the grass for the playground. I made furniture for outside too.
I cut the grass and glued the grass on.
I am painting the walls.
This is the outside walls we are painting.
We added classrooms and a sand pit.

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

We love to hear stories and we have been listening to one of our favourites read to us by the author. Michael Rosen is the author of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” and we can join in with the actions as he reads this story.

We loved this story so much we decided to make props and puppets to retell it. We made a big bear puppet and some long swishy grass.

I wonder what else we will need to make to tell this story?